Starting Kindergarten is an exciting time – for both children and parents! For children, it’s a chance to make new friends, learn new things, and to have fun! As a parent, you can play an important role in getting your child ready for this big step. 

Here are some helpful tips to prepare your growing child for Kindergarten:

  1. Read, Read, Read:

Reading is a very important part of Kindergarten readiness. You can foster a love for reading by leading by example. Read aloud to your child every day. Encourage them to look at the pictures and ask questions. This will help them increase their vocabulary, and develop good listening skills – all while cultivating a love for books!

A little girl lays on a pink blanket while reading the book “Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse!”
  1. Practice Letters and Numbers:

Learning letters and numbers is a big part of the Kindergarten curriculum. Help your child recognize letters by playing games, singing the alphabet song, and pointing out letters in their surroundings. Practice counting together and explore numbers through fun activities and games. Cooking and gardening can help reinforce counting and number skills!

  1. Encourage Independence:

Kindergarten requires children to be more self-reliant. It offers a safe space for children to test their boundaries and comfort zones. Encourage your child to get ready for this important step by allowing them to dress themselves, use the restroom independently, and tidy up their toys. This will help them to build their confidence and make them feel more prepared for the classroom.

  1. Foster Social Skills:

Kindergarten is a place that focuses on cooperation and working together. 

Children will be interacting with other students and teachers. Help your child practice sharing, taking turns, and practicing kindness. Encourage playdates and group activities to foster interactions with other children and people. This will help them feel more comfortable in social situations.

A young boy in a plaid shirt poses for the camera next to a little girl making a fish face
  1. Develop Fine Motor Skills: 

KIndergarten activities are designed to work a child’s fine motor skills. Activities involving pencils, scissors, and other tools require good hand control. Encourage your child to practice coloring, drawing, cutting with scissors, and building with Legos or blocks. These activities will help them build and master their fine motor skills. Mastering these achievements can also help you track your child’s overall development.

 little boy smiles at a little girl in a pink shirt coloring with a marker while seated at a preschool table full of coloring and painting supplies
  1. Establish Routines:

Kindergarten provides structure, and part of that structure is the daily schedule. Classes spend a lot of time going through each step of the day, encouraging students to be active participants in all of the learning activities and experiences. 

You can ensure a smooth transition into this structure by establishing routines at home. Set regular bedtimes, mealtimes, and playtimes. A solid home routine will help make the transition to school structure that much easier!

  1. Visit the School and Meet Your Teacher:

Take your child for a visit to their future classroom. Show them around the school playground, and introduce them to their future teacher. Many schools offer a Kindergarten orientation event, built to help children feel more comfortable on their first day. Having a good idea of what to expect can help alleviate any anxiety that your child might experience with this big change.

  1. Check Emotional Readiness:

Talk about your child’s feelings and thoughts about Kindergarten. This transition to “big kid” activities can often bring up a host of different emotions from excitement to nervousness. Talk to your child about their feelings. Walk them through and answer all of their questions. Reassure them that it is ok to feel a little nervous and scared. Teach them easy coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills to hep them feel more comfortable.

Other Things Parents Should Know:

Here is a checklist of other important things that parents should know and consider before the start of the school year:

  • Age requirements – Make sure you are familiarizing yourself with the age requirement for kindergarten enrollment in your area.
  • School policies and procedures – Read through all of the policies and procedures so that you can ask for help or clarification before the busyness of school takes over
  • Immunization requirements – Make sure that your child is up to date with all of the required immunizations before Kindergarten starts. Make sure you know your school’s immunization policies and that you have submitted all the required documentation.
  • Communication Channels – Familiarize yourself with your school’s preferred communication channels. Stay up to date on all announcements!
  • Special Services and Support – If your child has any specific learning needs or requires additional support, make sure that you communicate this with the school. It is best to do this before the start of the school year. Familiarize yourself with the resources and services available to support your child’s individual learning and emotional wellness needs.

Getting your child ready for Kindergarten is an exciting journey that begins at home. By incorporating these tips into your child’s daily routines, and working to prepare yourself, you can help your child develop the necessary skills and confidence to find success in Kindergarten!

A little girl in a pink jacket hangs upside down on playground equipment

Remember, every child learns at their own pace. Practice patience and offer support, and make sure to celebrate their accomplishments! Kindergarten will be a wonderful adventure for both you and your child!

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